In this week’s “Wine with Adam,” host and CEO of Israel Innovation Fund Adam Scott Bellos is joined by ex-spy Jonathan Pollard in an exclusive tell-all interview.
Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for giving highly confidential security documents to the Israelis while working for U.S. Naval Intelligence. The length of this sentence had long been protested as too harsh, and in 2015, Jonathan was allowed to go free after 35 years in prison. Five years later, Pollard and his wife, Esther, made aliyah. She died on Jan. 31, 2022, due to complications from COVID-19.
The discussion takes place over a glass of Kabir Winery’s Merlot.
Bellos questioned Pollard about the damage he did to the American Jewish community in making them suspect of having more loyalty to Israel than to America. Answering defiantly, Pollard said, “I don’t give a damn,” and shot back that American Jews should have condemned the American government at the time for scapegoating them for his personal sins. According to Pollard, he represented the American Jewish establishment’s “worse nightmare” in that he had shown that the US/Israel “special” relationship was not as it seemed.
Maintaining his claim that he gave crucial security information to the Israelis that the Americans were withholding, he said that his case and circumstances showed that there are forces within the U.S. government that seek to harm Israel and do not have its best interests at heart.
His time in prison
Opening up about his time in jail, Pollard said that “killing was an everyday occurrence” and that he didn’t know if he would make it one day to the next. However, when asked if they had killed anyone when in jail or as an Israeli spy, Pollard simply answered: “I certainly wouldn’t admit it if I did.”